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Mr Endicott's friend the Rector have revived a little in his presence stared at him with a haughty amaze- but for that arrow of Mr Endicott's, ment, but came forward without say- not knowing whether to address him, ing anything to the new-comers ; or whether her best policy was to be then he seemed to pause a moment, silent. She went on by his side, doubtful how to address Louis—a holding down her head, looking very doubt which the young man solved small, very slight, very young, beside for him instantly by taking off his that dignified and stately personage. hat with an exaggerated and solemn At last he himself condescended to politeness. They bowed to each speak. other loftily, these two haughty young Am I to understand, Miss Athelmen, as two duellists might have ing,” said the Rector, very much in saluted each other over their weapons. the same tone as he might have asked Then Louis turned his fair com- little Billy Morrell at school, panion gently, and, without saying Are you the boy who robbed John anything, led her back again on the Parker's orchard I”—“Am I to underroad they had just traversed. Agnes stand, as I should be disposed to followed silently, and feeling very conclude from what this person says, awkward, with the Rector and Mr that, like my fashionable cousin at Endicott on either hand. The Rector the Hall
, you have written novels ? did not say a word. Agnes only -or is it only the hyperbole of that answered in shy monosyllables. The individual's ordinary speech ?”. gifted American had it all his own "No," said Agnes, very guilty, a way.
convicted culprit, yet making bold to “I understand Viscount Winter- confess her guilt.“I am very sorry bourne and Mrs Edgerley are at he said it, but it is true; only I have Winterbourne Hall,” said Mr Endi- written just one novel. Do you think cott. “She is a charming person; it wrong?”. the union of a woman of fashion “I think a woman's intellect ought and a woman of literature is one so to be receptive without endeavouring rarely seen in this land.”
to produce," said the Rector, in a " Yes,” said Agnes, who knew no- slightly acerbated tone. “ Intellithing else to say:
gence is the noblest gift of a woman ; “For myself,” said Mr Endicott originality is neither to be wished nor solemnly, "I rejoice to find the poetic looked for." gift alike in the palace of the peer “I do not suppose I am very and the cottage of the peasant, bring- guilty of that either,” said Agnes, ing home to all hearts the experiences brightening again with that odd of life ; in the sumptuous apartments touch of pugnacity, as she listened of the Hall with Mrs Edgerley, or in once more to this haughty tone of the humble parlour of the worthy dogmatism from the man who held and respectable middle class— Miss no opinions. If you object only to Atheling, with you.”
originality, I do not think you need “Oh !" cried Agnes, starting under be angry with me. this sudden blow, and parrying it She was half inclined to play with with all the skill she could find. “Do the lion, but the lion was in a very you like Oxford, Mr Endicott ? Have ill humour, and would see no sport you seen much of the country about in the matter. To tell the truth, the here ?"
Rector was very much fretted by this But it was too late. Mr Endicott unlooked-for intelligence. He felt as caught a shy backward glance of if it were done on purpose, and meant Marian, and, smothering a mortal as a personal offence to him, though jealousy of Louis, eagerly, thrust really, after all, for a superior sister himself forward to answer it—and of St Frideswide, this unfortunate the Rector had caught his unfortu- gift of literature was rather a recomnate words. The Rector drew him- mendation than otherwise, as one self up to a still more lofty height, it might have thought. that was possible, and walked on by So the Rev. Lionel Rivers stalked Agnes's side in a solemn and stately on beside Agnes past his own door, silence – poor Agnes, who would following Louis, Marian, and Mr Endicott to the very gate of the Old unpriestly state of mind. He could Wood Lodge. Then he took off his not endure to think that the common hat to them all, wished them a cere- outer world had gained such a hold monious good-night, and went home upon that predestined Superior of the extremely wrathful, and in a most sisters of St Frideswide.
CHAPTER XXXIV.-SOME PROGRESS.
After a long and most laborious father's instructions. He tells me investigation of the old parchment, there was a deed distinct and formal, Charlie at last triumphantly made and offers to bear his witness of it, it out to be an old conveyance, to a as I have offered mine." remote ancestor, of this very little Charlie took eagerly out of her house, and sundry property adjoin- hand the paper she offered to him. ing, on which the Athelings had now “It is a copy out of his book," said no claim. More than two hundred Miss Anastasia. It was headed and fifty years ago !—the girls were thus : “ Mem.-To convey to Miss as much pleased with it as if it had Bridget Atheling, her heirs and been an estate, and even Charlie assigns, the cottage called the Old owned a thrill of gratification. They Wood Lodge, with a certain piece of felt themselves quite long-descended land adjoining, to be described and patrician people, in right of the partly as a proof of Lord Winterancestor who had held “the family bourne's gratitude for services, property" in 1572.
partly as restoring property acquired But it was difficult to see what by his father—to be executed at use this could be of in opposition once.” to the claim of Lord Winterbourne. The date was five- and - twenty Half the estates in the country at years ago, and perhaps nothing but least had changed hands during justice to her dead friend and to her these two hundred and fifty years; living ones could have fortified Miss and though it certainly proved be- Anastasia to return upon that time. yond dispute that the Old Wood She sat still, looking at Charlie Lodge had once been the property of while he read it, with her cheek a the Athelings, it threw no light little blanched and her eye brighter whatever on the title of Miss Brid- than usual. He laid it down with get. Mrs Atheling looked round a look of impatience, yet satisupon the old walls with much in- faction. “Some one,” said Charlie, crease of respect; she wondered if “either for one side or for the other they really could be so old as that ; side, must have this deed.” and was quite reverential of her “Your boy is hard to please,” little house, being totally unac- said Miss Rivers. “I have offered quainted with the periods of domes- to appear myself, and so does Mr tio architecture, and knowing no- Temple. What, boy, not content!". thing whatever of archaic “detail.” “It is the next best,” said Charlie ;
Miss Anastasia, however, remem- “but still not so good as the deed; bered her promise. Only two or and the deed must exist somewhere; three days after Charlie's visit to nobody would destroy such a thing. her, the two grey ponies made their Where is it likely to be ?” sappearance once more at the gate of “Young Atheling," said Miss a la Wood Lodge. She was not Anastasia, half amused, half with air triumphant, but had a look displeasure, “when I want to col
sevation on her face, and evi- lect evidence, you shall do it for me. . stutt eit sie had gained something. Has he had a good education ?-eh ?” er derzi upen ber business with
I am afraid he will seem tient's helay
a very poor scholar,” said Mrs etty latexing, I have brought Atheling, with a little awe of Miss 24 24 Leenple can furnish Anastasia's learning; “but we did suda un Miss Anastasia- what we could for him ; and he has
team taken from my always been a very industrious boy,
and has studied a good deal him- tirely pleased,” said Mrs Atheling, self.”
with a little hesitation ; " but he is To this aside conversation Charlie a very fine young man; and to see paid not the smallest attention, but our children happy is the great thing ruminated over the lawyer's memo- we care for, both William and me.” randum, making faces at it, and “How do you know it will make bending all the powers of his mind her happy?" asked Miss Anastasia to the consideration-where to find somewhat sharply.. “ The child this deed ? “If it's not here, nor in flushes and pales again, pretty creaher lawyer's, nor with this old lady, ture as she is, like a woman come he's got it," pronounced Charlie'; into her troubles. A great deal but this was entirely a private pro- safer to write novels! But what is cess, and he did not say a word done can't be undone ; and I am aloud.
glad to hear of it on account of the “I've read her book," said Miss boy." Rivers, with a glance aside at Agnes ; Then Miss Anastasia made a “it's a very clever book : I apprové pause, thinking over the matter. of it, though I never read novels : in "I have found some traces of my my day girls did no such things— father's wanderings,” she said again, all the better for them now. Yes, with a little emotion : “if the old my child, don't be afraid. I'll not man was tempted to sin in his old call you unfeminine-in my opinion days, though it would be a shame to it's about the prettiest kind of fancy- hear of, I should still be glad to make work a young woman can do." sure ; and if by any chance," con
Under this applause Agnes smiled tinued the old lady, reddening with and brightened, it was a great deal the maidenly and delicate feeling of more agreeable than all the pretty which her fifty years could not desayings of all the people who were prive her—" if by any chance these dying to know the author of Hope unfortunate children should turn out Hazlewood, in the brief day of her to be nearly related to me, I will reputation at the Will
of course think it my duty to pro" And as for the pretty one,” said vide for them as if they were lawful Miss Anastasia, “she, I suppose, children of my father's house." contents herself with lovers-eh It cost her a little effort to say What is the meaning of this ? I this--and Mrs Atheling, not ventursuppose the child's heart is in it.
ing to make any comment, looked on The worse for her—the worse for with respectful sympathy. It was her!”
very well for Miss Anastasia to say, For Marian had blushed deeply, but how far Louis would tolerate a and then become very pale ; her provision made for him was quite a heart was touched indeed, and she different question. The silence was was very despondent. All the other broken again by the old lady herevents of the time were swallowed self. np to Marian by one great shadow- “ This bold boy of yours has set Louis was going away!
me to look over all my old papers," Whereupon Mrs Atheling, uncon- said Miss Anastasia, with a twinkle sciously eager to attract the interest of satisfaction and amusement in her of Miss Anastasia, who very likely eye, as she looked over at Charlie, would be kind to the young people, still making faces at the lawyer's sent Marian up-stairs upon a hastily- note. “Now that I have begun for invented errand, and took the old her sake, dear old soul, I continue lady aside to tell her what had hap- for my own and for curiosity : I pened. Miss Rivers was a good deal would give a great deal to find out surprised--a little affected. “So- the story of these children. Young so--80," she said slowly, “these Atheling, if I some time want your reckless young creatures-how ready services, will you give them to me?" they are to plunge into all the griefs Charlie looked up with a boyish of life! And what does Will Athel-flush of pleasure. As soon as this ing say to this nameless boy?” business is settled,” said Charlie.
'I cannot say my husband is en- Miss Anastasia, whom his mother feared to look at lest she should something, or try what she can do for be offended, smiled approvingly; Louis,” said Mamma; she did not patted the shoulder of Agnes as she think how impossible it would be to passed her, left “ her love for the do anything for Louis, until Louis other poor child, and went away. graciously accepted the service; nor Mrs Atheling looked after her with indeed, that the only thing the young à not unnatural degree of compla- man could do under his circumstancency. “Now, I think it very likely ces was to trust to his own exertions indeed that she will either leave them solely, and seek service from none.
CHAPTER XXXV.-A GREAT DISCOVERY.
The visit of Miss Rivers was an trouble,” was nearest of all at that early one, some time before their mid- moment to her mother's heart. day dinner; and the day went on When suddenly a violent sound of quietly after its usual fashion, and wheels from the high-road broke in fell into the stillness of a sunny after- upon the stillness, then a loud voice noon, which looked like a reminis- calling to horses, and then a dull cence of midsummer among these plunge and heavy roll. Mrs Atheling early October days. Mrs Atheling lifted her startled eyes, drowsy no sat in her big chair, knitting, with a longer, to see what was the matter, little drowsiness, a little stocking, just in time to behold, what shook though this was a branch of art in the little house like the shock of a which Hannah was found to excel, small earthquake, Miss Anastasia's and had begged her mistress to leave two grey horses, trembling with unto her. Agnes sat at the table with usual exertion, draw up with a bound her blotting-book, busy with her and commotion at the little gate. special business ; Charlie was writing And before the good mother could out a careful copy of the old deed. rise to her feet, wondering what The door was open, and Bell and could be the cause of this second Beau, under the happy charge of visit, Miss Rivers herself sprang out Rachel, ran back and forwards, out of the carriage, and came into the and in, from the parlour to the gar- house like a wind, almost stumbling den, not omitting now and then a over Rachel, and nearly upsetting visit to the kitchen, where Hannah, Bell and Beau. She did not say a covered all over with her white word to either mother or daughter, bib and apron, was making cakes she only came to the threshold of thé for tea. Their merry childish voices parlour, waved her hand imperiously, and prattling feet gave no disturb- and cried, “Young Atheling, I want ance to the busy people in the parlour ; neither did the light fairy Charlie was not given to rapid step of Rachel, nor even the songs movements, but there was no misshe sang to them in her wonderful understanding the extreme emotion voice—they were all so well accus- of this old lady. The big boy got up tomed to its music now. Marian at once and followed her, for_she and Louis, who did not like to lose went out again immediately. Then sight of each other in these last days, Mrs Atheling, sitting at the window were out wandering about the fields, in amaze, saw her son and Miss or in the wood, thinking of little in Anastasia stand together in the garthe world except each other, and that den, conversing with great earnestgreat uncertain future which Louis ness. She showed him a book, penetrated with his fiery glances, and which Charlie at first did not seem of which Marian wept and smiled to to understand, to the great impahear. Mamma sitting at the window, tience of his companion. Mrs Athelbetween the pauses of her knitting ing drew back troubled, and in the and the breaks of her gentle drowsi- most utter astonishment — what ness, looked out for them with a could it mean? little tender anxiety. Marian, the “Young Atheling," said Miss only one of her children who was “in Anastasia abruptly, “I want you to give up this business of your father's directions. I will make your forimmediately, and set off to Italy on tune, boy ; you shall be the richest mine. I have made a discovery of pettifogger in Christendom. Do you the most terrible importance: though hear me, young Atheling-do you you are only a boy, I can trust you. hear me ! He is the true Lord Do you hear me it is to bring to Winterbourne – he is my father's his inheritance my father's son !"
lawful son!” Charlie looked up in her face as- To say that Charlie was not stuntonished, and without comprehen- ned by this sudden suggestion, or that sion. “My father's business is of im- there was no answer of young and portance to us,” he said, with a mo- generous enthusiasm, as well as of mentary sullenness.
professional eagerness in his mind, "So it is ; my own man of business to the address of Miss Rivers, would shall undertake it, but I want an have been to do him less than jusagent, secret and sure, who is not tice. “Is it Italy?
I don't know a like to be suspected," said Miss Anas- word of Italian, cried Charlie. tasia. “Young Atheling, look here!" “Never mind, I'll go to-morrow. I
Charlie looked, but not with en- can learn it on the way.” thusiasın. The book she handed The old lady grasped the boy's him was an old diary of the most rough hand, and stepped again into commonplace description, each page her carriage. "Let it be to-morrow," divided with red lines into compart- she said, speaking very low; " tell mnents for three days, with printed your mother, but no one else, and do headings for Monday, Tuesday, not, for any consideration, let it Wednesday, and so on, and columns come to the ears of Louis-Louis, my for money. The wind fluttered the father's boy !- But I will not see leaves, so that the only entry visible him, Charlie; fly, boy, you
had to Charlie was one relating to some wings till you come home. I will purchase, which he read aloud, be- meet you to-morrow at Mr Temple's wildered' and wondering. Miss An- office—you know where that is--at astasia, who was extremely moved twelve o'clock. Be ready to go imand excited, looked furious, and as mediately, and tell your mother to if she was almost tempted to ad- mention it to no creature till I see minister personal chastisement to her again.” the blunderer. She turned over the Saying which, Miss Rivers turned fluttered leaves with an impetuous her ponies, Charlie hurried into the gesture. “Look here,” she said, house, and his mother sat gazing out pointing to the words with her im- of the window, with the most blank perative finger, and reading them and utter astonishment. Miss Analoud in a low, restrained, but most astasia had not a glance to spare for emphatic voice. The entry was in the watcher, and took no time to pull the same hand, duly dated under her rose from the porch. She drove the red line-“Twins one boy-and home again at full speed, solacing Giulietta safe. Thank God. My her impatience with the haste of her sweet young wife.”
progress, and repeating, under her “Now go-fly!” cried Miss Anas- breath, again and again, the same tasia, "find out their birthday, and words, “One boy—and Giulietta then come to me for money and safe. My sweet young wife!"